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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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David PavlichAdministrator
Transmographied
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Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Mandeville, LA USA
Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: korborh]
      #5215229 - 05/10/12 10:51 AM

Quote:

Quote:

One of our more infrequent posters, Paul Burke (f29pc), posted a 20 minute unguided sub that he did with his MI250 at about a 2300mm focal length. It can be done, but the work to get his 250 to that level was exstensive.





I found the thread and his work and effort is impressive! The image looks pretty good; I wish there was an fit/tiff version for analysis.
Among other things, he used encoders on axis which makes the system more of a closed loop, as feedback is coming from the axis.




Paul still guides, but he wanted to post this result to show what a good mount is capable of.

David


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jmiele
Patron Saint?
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Reged: 12/04/10

Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: korborh]
      #5215238 - 05/10/12 10:59 AM

There is no shortage of proof on the web of unguided Paramount images. This is one I took on an MX with the CCA250 some time ago. While only 1200+ mm FL in is unguided and un processed. As my mind is going I recall little else. I'll have to dig through backups as I had a computer disaster while I was recently ill.. Also apparently my website deepskydesigns.com is down.

Joe

http://i259.photobucket.com/albums/hh293/jwmiele/M31L.jpg

Edited by jmiele (05/10/12 11:06 AM)


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jmiele
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Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: jmiele]
      #5215263 - 05/10/12 11:11 AM

Not sure why i can't get a decent uncompressed image to post. they look horrible.

I don't really use PBase but here is another link...

http://www.pbase.com/jwmiele/image/139717385


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jmiele
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Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: jmiele]
      #5215294 - 05/10/12 11:27 AM

That PBase image is the entire STX 16803 image. The CCA-250 has a really nice flat field. I've no recollection of the seeing conditions but I was just north of NYC and here it is generally - *BLEEP*. Up north is considerably better.

Joe


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korborh
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Reged: 01/29/11

Loc: Arizona
Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: jmiele]
      #5215378 - 05/10/12 12:02 PM

That M31 is 1.54"/px if I am calculating correctly, with your 9um pixels. The stars are >4-5" FWHM using this scale. Far from high-res and not anything any other high-end mount cant do unguided.

The difference between 2" FHWM and 3" is huge when talking about guiding and mount tracking abilities. 4" is another step in loss in resolution.
What is the length of unguided subs you used?


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korborh
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Reged: 01/29/11

Loc: Arizona
Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: jmiele]
      #5215389 - 05/10/12 12:09 PM

No doubt there are great images made by Parmounts. So are with other high-end mounts.

I am questioning the claims that "guiding is not needed for AP" with Paramount Protrack. The manufacturer will claim and hype all sorts of things, but it important that objective data is out there when making such claims and also explaining what loss in resolution/detail between guided and un-guided, and the effort needed to achieve the same resolution.


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JAT Observatory
NOT a Wimp
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Reged: 02/20/05

Loc: In the Primordial Soup
Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: jmiele]
      #5215397 - 05/10/12 12:16 PM

I have been reading this thread with much interest from the very beginning. I get the feeling there are some people in this thread that for some reason seem to dislike Paramounts and there are others that seem to dislike APs. That is just an observation of mine. I want to make a couple a statements.

I am a Paramount owner.
I am very happy with my Paramount. Itís gotten a lot of use since I acquired it.
Whenever I have had a problem or a question Software Bisque has been helpful.
There are some things I donít like about my Paramount

I donít own an AP mount
I donít dislike AP mounts
If I owned an AP mount (from what Iíve read) I would more than likely be very happy with it

I am a remote user, which is why I choose the Paramount (that and the fact I got a good deal on a used one).

Sometimes my setup is run completely autonomously from start to finish and I look at the results a day or so later.

I donít consider myself an imager. I take images because I am a remote user. I spend very little time (if any) processing images. Most of the time I donít even save the images if viewing realtime. The CRT is my eyepiece.

I use ProTrack but sometimes I autoguide.
My comments about Protrack were only mentioned as a feature, not to try and convince anyone to replace autoguiding with it.

Sometimes I track satellites because itís nice to actually see things up there I touched on the ground.

This is a hobby so I try not to get too worked up about it.

People can be passionate about things.

Not everything you read on the internet is true.

There are a number of bright people here.

Both the Paramount and the AP (from what Iíve read) are great mounts


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Peter in Reno
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Reged: 07/15/08

Loc: Reno, NV
Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: JAT Observatory]
      #5215449 - 05/10/12 12:45 PM

Hi Korboh,

Is it accurate to measure FWHM for long exposure images? The stars will naturally bloat. Would it be more accurate to measure FWHM by taking short exposure images of 5 to 10 seconds at a dense star fields? Or using 10 minute raw and unprocessed sub in FIT format?

I am not sure I can really get 2" FWHM where I live due to typical unsteady seeing conditions. I would probably have to go to a dark site where the sky is dark and steady.

Thanks,
Peter


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freestar8n
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Reged: 10/12/07

Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: Peter in Reno]
      #5215492 - 05/10/12 01:11 PM

Hi-

This thread is interesting to me, and it's nice to hear people speaking in terms of quantitative fwhm values - which I consider essential. Unfortunately it is hard to tell guiding issues from seeing in many situations, but one way is to compare your results with other people in the general area on the same night - and see if yours are comparable, better, or worse.

Regarding self-guiding - I have no doubt that high end mounts can do very well, but I'm surprised if a mass-produced sct, even with mirror locks, can achieve 2" fwhm reliably in a long sequence of 10m exposures - particularly if it crosses the meridian. Even with a high-end OTA and a fixed primary, I expect that good autoguiding would show improved results over self-guided. I see comments that "guiding would have made it worse" - and I don't agree with that as long as the guiding is well tuned.

With refractors I expect much less of a problem self-guiding - particularly at shorter focal lengths.

Finally - my personal "niche" is in getting good guiding results from mid-range equipment, and my conclusion is that you can do much better than people realize with a mid-range mount if you guide tightly and with low latency using an accurate centroid. So - a high end mount from any company should make it much easier to get to the 2" fwhm level, if your seeing allows, but a lot of results by people using mid-range equipment are limited more by technique and software than the mount itself.

Frank


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korborh
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 01/29/11

Loc: Arizona
Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: JAT Observatory]
      #5215499 - 05/10/12 01:14 PM

Good points Marcus.

The OP is trying to decide between mounts. So it is useful to understand the advertised features objectively. Some of us like to be more quantitative when checking the claims.

Why do you think anyone is attacking Paramount? They are great mounts. Just don't want would be buyers to be misled by anecdotes of 'unique' un-guided imaging abilities.


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jmiele
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Reged: 12/04/10

Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: korborh]
      #5215669 - 05/10/12 02:30 PM

I find you questioning me and my reputation in poor form. As a new poster perhaps listen more and judge less. I've also done the same with a c14 on the MX and ME. But, I've nothing to prove to you.

I was attempting to help the OP with my ACTUAL experience with these mounts. I've no doubt you have little to no time behind these mount Korb.

BTW, 99.99% of what you get in these forums is subjective opinion. We operate as adults and base how we feel about what we read on our knowledge of the poster. Get to know me a bit better before calling me out. Of your 24 posts you've spent 50% of them questioning longstanding members.

Joe


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korborh
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 01/29/11

Loc: Arizona
Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: jmiele]
      #5215703 - 05/10/12 02:49 PM

Sorry if I came out as personal. Where did I try to judge you, why do you feel so? Maybe I was too direct in the question, and perhaps I used the word 'claim' too strongly. Sorry about that again. Nothing personal.

Questioning is not allowed in this forum? Are we supposed to check how many posts someone has made, how old they are, and what their name is, before asking a fair question or objective data?


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Alph
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/23/06

Loc: Melmac
Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: korborh]
      #5215734 - 05/10/12 03:04 PM

Quote:

Questioning is not allowed in this forum?



Pretty much so when it comes to A-P or SB mounts
What some of us questioned was the practicality of TPoint and ProTrack when you are out in the boonies.


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blueman
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Reged: 07/20/07

Loc: California
Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: Peter in Reno]
      #5215754 - 05/10/12 03:14 PM

This is a photo using single 10 minute images, not stacks from hours of imaging.
However, it does show it did take a 10 minute unguided sub.

Blueman
Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

Rick J has Paramount ME and Meade 14" SCT and always takes 10 minute subs unguided at F/10 or about 3500mm focal length.




I looked but could not find reference to 'un-guided' in his images. I believe his camera is a dual-chip one, not sure if that is being used.
Again, it is important to quantify the image in star FWHM to understand how they compare to auto-guided (with OAG of course).
Also, how long does it take to setup the equimpent to get unguided x-minutes with x" FWHM.?
All these are important data for anyone buying into the hype of ProTrack.




Here is Rick J's example: Rick J unguided comment

Read the whole thread.

Peter




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JAT Observatory
NOT a Wimp
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Reged: 02/20/05

Loc: In the Primordial Soup
Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: Alph]
      #5215939 - 05/10/12 05:06 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Questioning is not allowed in this forum?



Pretty much so when it comes to A-P or SB mounts
What some of us questioned was the practicality of TPoint and ProTrack when you are out in the boonies.




People have different interests for me satellite tracking is one place Protrack is useful in the boonies or not. Unless the bird is moving at a very slow pace you aren't going to be autoguiding, so any corrections would have to be made manually.

Whether or not a user decides the practicality of when a feature on a mount is useful or not is up to the user, but I think making a perspective user aware of a feature or option is a plus so the user can decide.


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jmiele
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Reged: 12/04/10

Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: korborh]
      #5215953 - 05/10/12 05:16 PM

Quote:

Sorry if I came out as personal. Where did I try to judge you, why do you feel so? Maybe I was too direct in the question, and perhaps I used the word 'claim' too strongly. Sorry about that again. Nothing personal.

Questioning is not allowed in this forum? Are we supposed to check how many posts someone has made, how old they are, and what their name is, before asking a fair question or objective data?





Of course questioning is allowed. I'll try not to be so sensitive moving forward. I wasn't attempting to prove or disprove anything with my statements or links. I posted the first unguided single sub I could find. I didn't measure FWHM prior to posting. I looked at it, it looked decent, I linked it.

I do take issue when folks without practical experience question those sharing and attempting to assist with their experience. However, I can be a cement head, and as Alph can tell you I've had plenty to say about TDM gear and have not own any.

Sorry for the distraction. I will look further for data, but as stated by others, I think plenty exists out there. That said, good solid work can and has been done on mid to low end gear as well. Ones understanding of their gear and diligence can result in great things regardless of the pedigree.

Joe


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korborh
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 01/29/11

Loc: Arizona
Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: jmiele]
      #5216016 - 05/10/12 05:58 PM

Joe,
Again I sincerely apologize, never intended to be personal.

The good thing about quantitative analysis of guiding quality is that it is easy to compare with other methods (numbers speak for themselves). I guess I am one of the 0.01% out there.

BTW, just because I am new to posting on the forum does not mean I do not have experience with imaging or equipment . In fact I am helping resolve issues and get two PME's on the path to imaging productivity. These are not my mounts, but I know about them.


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frolinmod
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/06/10

Loc: Southern California
Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: korborh]
      #5216047 - 05/10/12 06:27 PM

Guys, I think some of you are really going overboard with the ProTrack hate. ProTrack is just one more useful feature that makes our life easier. It's one more useful tool in our tool belt. It isn't a magic bullet that will cure the common cold. It just makes things easier and that is all. If you had this feature available to you, you'd probably appreciate having it too. In fact, I predict that once APCC is released and A-P mount owners get a somewhat similar feature, we'll see bragging and hear loud horn tooting (and for good reason too).

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blueman
Photon Catcher
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Reged: 07/20/07

Loc: California
Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: frolinmod]
      #5216085 - 05/10/12 06:53 PM

No hate from me, I was curious to see what results you could achieve with this tool. All tools are great, if a mount has special tools that are very useful, then it is good to know about them.
Blueman
Quote:

Guys, I think some of you are really going overboard with the ProTrack hate. ProTrack is just one more useful feature that makes our life easier. It's one more useful tool in our tool belt. It isn't a magic bullet that will cure the common cold. It just makes things easier and that is all. If you had this feature available to you, you'd probably appreciate having it too. In fact, I predict that once APCC is released and A-P mount owners get a somewhat similar feature, we'll see bragging and hear loud horn tooting (and for good reason too).




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jmiele
Patron Saint?
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Reged: 12/04/10

Re: Has anyone here used an Paramount MX and an AP900? new [Re: korborh]
      #5216088 - 05/10/12 06:55 PM

We're good NP Korb.....


Fro, Agreed.... And as for APCC I've no doubt there will be horns. My question, and I think it's in keeping on topic, how much do we think APCC will cost? After seeing it I couldn't venture a guess and I'm not thinking it's going to be a toss in like PEMPro... ??


Joe


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